New tool gives vets “one-stop-shop” for horse welfare cases

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From left, RSPCA Chief Veterinary Officer Caroline Allen, with RSPCA Officer Christine McNeil and BEVA council member Merry Smith, who led the Welfare Toolkit project.
From left, RSPCA Chief Veterinary Officer Caroline Allen, with RSPCA Officer Christine McNeil and BEVA council member Merry Smith, who led the Welfare Toolkit project.

A new resource to help equine veterinarians deal with horse welfare cases has been developed in Britain.

The Welfare Case Toolkit launched this month by BEVA (British Equine Veterinary Association) has been developed in conjunction with the RSPCA and aims to provide horse vets with a “one-stop-shop” to navigate welfare cases with confidence.

Being called out to a welfare case to assess immediate veterinary needs is part of an ambulatory vet’s role and they may also be required to act as a witness.

The interactive Welfare Workflow provides a step-by-step guide to what happens when a vet is called upon to provide an opinion on the health and welfare of the animals involved. It has been produced in a mobile-friendly format or can be printed out and kept in the car.

“Welfare assessments can sometimes be intimidating and it’s natural to feel vulnerable, particularly when circumstances are difficult”, said BEVA council member  Merry Smith, who led the project on behalf of BEVA.

“Our new Welfare Case Toolkit gives you access to the information and resources, even when you are on the road, to support you in dealing with a welfare case”.

BEVA's interactive Welfare Workflow.
BEVA’s interactive Welfare Workflow.

Supporting the workflow is a series of quick downloads, covering all aspects of the process:

  • Approach to the welfare case
  • Letter of instruction
  • Section 18 of the Animal Welfare Act (2006) certificate
  • Witness details sheet
  • Witness statement form
  • RSPCA vet exam form
  • Guidance notes on how to complete a vet exam welfare case form

Caroline Allen, Chief Veterinary Officer at the RSPCA said veterinarians were absolutely critical to the work of the RSPCA. “While we know many vets get a lot of satisfaction from this work saving animals from cruelty and suffering, we know that this work can sometimes be daunting and the law confusing.

“We are delighted to have worked with BEVA on providing this guidance and hope it is the first step in us providing more support to vets doing this vital work- we literally couldn’t do it without you”

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